Shifted out: The well-being and justice implications of evening and night commuting

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - pedestrian, mode - car, planning - service improvement, policy - equity, ridership - commuting


shift work, commuting, life satisfaction


This study analyses shift work commuting. We ask: who works evening and night shifts, how do they commute, and how does working these shifts impact activity participation and life satisfaction? We answer these questions using two national datasets. Our results offer three overarching findings. First, we find significant demographic differences in who works shifts along lines of race, poverty status, immigration, and household type, differences reflecting occupational segregation. Black, Filipino, South Asian, and Indigenous commuters are significantly overrepresented at night. Second, evening and night shift workers are more likely to commute as car passengers or by bus or walking. Third, we find that while shift workers have significantly lower life satisfaction, auto ownership may ameliorate this impact. Considering these results, we conclude that improving the transport situation for shift-workers is essential to improving life satisfaction and advancing transportation justice.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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